Wednesday, May 18, 2016

PEBBLES

Maybe this block should have been centered in the quilt.  I believe that was my original intent.  The pebbling makes the applique stand out, much more apparent in 3 D real life.  I originally tried echoing around the applique but picked all that out.  It looked terrible.  I rather like this effect.  I have to finish this quilt and get it off the frame.  We need that room again for the wee one next week. 

My next quilt will be an Edge to Edge (E2E) free motion simple pattern.  I have enjoyed designing the quilting for each block.  I know the ruler work echoing might be considered vacuous but it seems to suit the blocks.  The free flowing feathers in the negative space offsets the straight lines.  It is hard to see the whole effect when the quilt is wound up on the frame.  Another reason to finish.  So I can actually see the complete picture.  Soon, maybe this weekend.  After I vacuum.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Phase Seven

I listed a nice Singer 185 on Craigslist for five bucks.  I had two bites.  I reeled in one and as I was testing the machine it flat out died.  Luckily I had another.  I was dusting it off when the buyers came.  Turns out, he loves to tinker, she loves to sew.  I sold the one working one, gave them the dead one (which is likely easily fixed BY SOMEONE OTHER THAN ME) and offered up a 328 that had been given to me last year.  Three gone, plus the stand. 

This, my friends is what Ed Lamoureux calls Phase Seven.  I am very happy to be here. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Eight Bucks a yard or less

I have a lifetime supply of fabric.  My local quilt store The Quilt Zoo sells all of their fabric for 8 bucks or less a yard.  They even have some 2 dollar per yard fabric.  I am tempted.  I resisted that temptation today.  That's not to say that I spent no money there.  I did.  I bought a rotating cutting mat and a template called The Learning Curve.  I have a scrappy quilt in progress, you know.  I will find some solids there for the sashing or the setting blocks if I decide to set the blocks on point.

First thing this morning I was up and on the Nolting for thirty minutes.  Just enough time to quilt the border and do some SID.  More feather work and ruler work later in the day. My reward for having given Wrigley (whom Mom has renamed Willoughby) a hair cut.

I am feeling more fluid with these feathers.  Still having issues connecting where I leave off.  Maybe it's wonky, but it's my wonky and I am not unhappy with the results.  There are some stitches that I will take out.  Some of the feathers look like a whale.  I might just call this quilt, Moby Dick.


I don't think we learn as much when we are ripping out stitches.  I truly believe the best policy is to keep going.  Log in those hours.  Practice is key.  Over and over and over again.



Sunday, May 1, 2016

WORRIED

I admit it.  I am worried.  Fortunately when I am piecing a quilt or working on the Nolting, I can't worry because I have to concentrate.  Piecing is much more relaxing and relatively stress free compared to quilting on the long arm.  Piecing is repetitive.  Quilting requires thought.  Design decisions must be made carefully.

I knew that I wanted to quilt feathers in the white spaces.  I did sketch them out with chalk first then I used the Mark B Gone blue marker that disappears when spritzed.  I did better with the chalk but didn't want that getting in the hook so I switched.  I ended up ripping some stitches out and starting over with the last triangle.

I prefer free hand work over ruler work.  Unfortunately all I could see was ruler work on the blocks.  I want the blocks to stand alone and not be overwhelmed with quilting.  Technically I was not aiming to SID but on some of the seams, that is exactly where I ended up.  This block is strange.  Though the background fabric is the same as the block next to it, the hue is darker.   I don't know why.  I hope it will blend once the quilt is done.  Sigh.

 I have to admit that I am pretty happy with this result.  The triangles do stand out, better seen in reality. I figure that maybe I can sneak a smallish feather in above it.  My inclination is to leave it alone.  Or I could quilt in some triangles.
 I think that I can manage to connect the feathers all the way through the quilt.  I wasn't sure at first. 
 The feather at the end of this row is wonky, that's for sure.  Better a wonky feather than boring stippling, I guess.  Plus, how else will I get better if I don't practice?
We'll see how the rest of it quilts up.  Good for me, I am forging ahead.  Oh, and don't worry about me.  My concerns are all out of my control since I don't have millions of dollars to buy an election. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

FIFTY FIVE AND CLOUDY

with a 3-5 mph west southwest wind.  A great day for a bike ride.  I was not over dressed for the weather which means that I would have appreciated one more layer.  Once I put my hat on under my helmet I was happier.

We didn't quite make 19 miles but that's OK.  I am woefully out of shape.  No excuses. 

We didn't head out to ride until after lunch.  I had time to start quilting the Block of the Month Quilt (BOMQ) I am getting better with my SID technique.  I find that if I relax, keep my eyes focused on where I am going, instead of watching the needle, I do better.

I wanted a design that would not detract from the bright border.  Piano Keys would work.  I didn't relish ruler work, though.    Using my Westalee echo guide I quilted straight lines free hand. 


Now I am at Design Decision.  I know that I want to quilt feathers in the "negative" space between the blocks.  I just am not so sure about what to do about the triangles.  Feathers, probably.  And what to do with each block?  It isn't so easy custom quilting but I did NOT want to just meander meaninglessly across this quilt.  I think I will just pebble around the Rose Wreath.  That's about all I know for now.